The Eagles started their season with a respectable 3-1-0 record, but all three wins came against far inferior competition. BC played well against Lowell, but was largely outplayed. It remained to be seen whether BC would be able to outplay an NCAA tournament quality opponent.
Friday night, they did just that. After playing from behind, #5 BC scored late in the third period to secure a gigantic non-conference road win over #11 Denver, 2-1.
Denver Goal #1: 0:28 of the 2nd period
Nolan Zajac (Joey LaLeggia, Matt Marcinew)
DU 1, BC 0
Denver controlled play very well on their power plays, but it was even or better for BC even strength. The Pioneers only managed two shots on goal even strength in the first period.
But it was not a good start to the 2nd period. Denver wins a battle along the boards and is able to skate the puck around behind the net. Zajac for Denver is allowed to skate all the way in from the blue line right onto Demko's doorstep -- I mean he is really just left completely alone right into point blank range.
Cangelosi looks like he's going to take care of Zajac but instead he curls around totally away from the play. It's a disaster, and Denver scores from close range to take the lead.
Boston College Goal #1: 7:43 of the 2nd period
Ryan Fitzgerald (Austin Cangelosi, Destry Straight)
BC 1, DU 1
Sneaky sneaky, Fitzgerald. Cangelosi and Straight win their own battle along the boards and Cangelosi skates toward the center of the ice. Fitzgerald just kind of glides behind everybody and there are four -- count 'em, four -- Pioneers focused on Cangelosi. #11 for Denver, Zajac, realizes Fitzgerald is there at the last possible second, but by then it's too late.
Stick down on the ice, he takes the pass from Cangelosi and has a tap-in with the whole net to aim for. Game tied at 1.
Boston College Goal #2: 15:18 of the 3rd period
Ryan Fitzgerald (Zach Sanford, Quinn Smith)
BC 2, DU 1 -- FINAL
Now the magic happens. Sanford came streaking out of the box at the end of a BC penalty kill and Quinn Smith cleared the puck down the ice to him. It wasn't on line enough for a breakaway, but Sanford had enough time and space to delay while Fitzgerald came down the ice. Fitzgerald is well defended but he just manages to get a stick on the puck to get it past Cowley.
Denver would sure make it interesting. The Pioneers pulled their goalie with a full 2:15 left on the clock, but BC couldn't capitalize. Denver kept the puck pinned in the BC zone and had several great chances, but Thatcher Demko did work and managed to keep the puck out.
It was a huge win for BC against a highly ranked opponent, and it was a win they deserved. This was a game that fits the blueprint to perfection for how BC is going to win hockey games -- the defense was as stout as we have seen in the young season, and while BC didn't pile on the shots, they had their chances and possessed the puck very well. And of course behind it all, exceptional goaltending.
BC takes on Denver again on Saturday night at 9pm Eastern and will be going for what would be a monumental road sweep.